New Mexico Bowl 2019 Betting Odds, Pick and Prediction for San Diego State vs. Central Michigan

New Mexico Bowl 2019 Betting Odds, Pick and Prediction for San Diego State vs. Central Michigan article feature image
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Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: San Diego State celebration

  • Updated odds for the 2019 New Mexico Bowl list San Diego State as a 3-point betting favorite over Central Michigan.
  • The over/under is the lowest of bowl season at 40.5, thanks to the Aztecs' stellar defense and anemic offense.
  • See how our experts are betting San Diego State vs. Central Michigan in the New Mexico Bowl.

New Mexico Bowl Odds for Central Michigan vs. San Diego State

  • Spread: San Diego State -3
  • Over/Under: 40.5
  • Date: Saturday, Dec. 21
  • Time: 2 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN
  • Location: Albuquerque, N.M.

Looking for points? Well, you came to the wrong bowl game. Try the Boca Raton Bowl instead.

This game features the lowest total of any bowl thanks to two strong defenses. Not one of SDSU’s four games in November eclipsed 30 total points and it didn’t allow a single team to score more than 24 points this year.

Central Michigan had a resurgent season under first-year coach Jim McElwain, but fell to Miami Ohio in the MAC championship. The Chips have more balance than San Diego State, ranking 79th in offensive efficiency and 73rd on defense, but don’t possess an elite defense like the Aztecs.


New Mexico Bowl odds as of 9 a.m. ET on Saturday  via DraftKings, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.


Central Michigan vs. San Diego State Line Movement

Laying a short spread with San Diego State has seemed like a fairly easy decision for most bettors. Sixty-eight percent, in fact, have taken the Aztecs against a MAC opponent, but the line movement hasn’t reflected that.

After opening at -4.5, San Diego State has fallen to -3.5, which should serve as an indication of the type of bettor that’s taking the points.

And despite an even higher majority backing of the under (72% of bets), the total has seen very little movement since opening, remaining right around the 40-41 range. — Danny Donahue

Two Fun Facts

  • Central Michigan is due for some better fumble luck after losing 15 of 23 total fumbles on the season.
  • San Diego State won three games this season in which it had a negative yards per play differential, tied for most in the country and a sign of some good fortune. — Steve Petrella

Who’s Motivated?

From a motivational perspective, I think you have to give the edge to Central Michigan. The Chips won ONE game last season and shocked the midwest with a MAC title game appearance. You’d think these kids have to be excited to play in a bowl after having such low preseason expectations.

Meanwhile, I’m not sure how excited San Diego State will be to take on a MAC opponent, especially after such a disappointing end to the season. The Aztecs had dreams of making a Mountain West championship up until late November. — Stuckey

Collin Wilson: Defense Will Win Out Early

Our Action Network projection on this total is 50.5, but can SDSU actually get on the scoreboard? The Aztecs are 11-1 to the under on the season, as Rocky Long’s switch to a spread attack while utilizing RPO action has not paid off.

new mexico bowl-sdsu vs. central michigan-odds-stats

Long and Jim McElwain know each other well, as the Central Michigan head coach was at Colorado State from 2012 to 2014. In their lone meeting in 2013, Long and the Aztecs covered the 23-point spread against the underdog Rams.

The Chippewas should have success on the defensive side of the ball. San Diego State is outside the top 100 in many offensive categories, while Central Michigan is top 20 in line yards, power success and stuff rate. Both teams rank 11th or higher in defensive havoc.

Considering how early the game falls in the bowl season, both coaches will not have enough preparation time due to the early signing deadline on Dec. 18.

Expect the Aztecs offense to struggle the entire game like it has all season, while CMU’s Quinten Dormady will have trouble against SDSU’s tricky 3-3-5 defense in the early going. — Collin Wilson

Pick: First Half Under 20.5

Stuckey: SDSU Offense…Gross

After missing the season finale, SDSU QB Ryan Agnew is expected back under center for SDSU. However, he leads an offense that can be described as anemic at best.

The Aztecs averaged only 4.6 yards per play on offense, which is the worst among all bowl teams and 123rd in the nation. They are also the only bowl team to not average at least 20 points per game; even UMass averaged more points during the regular season.

In complete contrast, the SDSU defense has been dominant all season and has only allowed 4.6 yards per play (the same amount the offense averages) which ranks top 10 nationally. The Aztecs also rank in the top 10 in yards per game and are one of only four teams that allowed fewer than 13 points per game along with Clemson, Ohio State and Georgia.

Rocky Long’s unique 3-3-5 scheme was particularly strong against the run, allowing teams to only rush for 2.6 yards per carry — tied with Penn State for fewest in FBS.

CMU clearly has the superior offense in this matchup. Tennessee transfer Quinten Dormady took over at quarterback halfway through the year and has been productive. He not only has a pair of backs that should both surpass 1,000 yards after this game in Kobe Lewis and Jonathan Ward, but he also has two reliable receivers on the outside in Kalil Plimpton and JaCorey Sullivan.

I hate backing MAC teams in bowl games, but SDSU may lay an egg here against another MAC team (Ohio beat SDSU 27-0 last year).

Plus, CMU has a fine enough defense to shut down the anemic SDSU offense and an offense with enough talent in the backfield and on the outside to break through a few times against the stingy Aztec defense. Stuckey

Miller: Not High on San Diego State

I’ve been much lower than the market on San Diego State all season and I’ve resisted my urge to follow convention wisdom and boost them in my power ratings week after week. That’s led to me making this game Aztecs -2.5. The line movement since the open tells me that my line was closer than what odds makers originally put out, but you still have to cross a key number to get to the current spread.

There’s only one unit in this game that can qualify as pathetic and that’s the Aztecs’ offense. Quarterback Ryan Agnew is set to suit up for this one but running back Juwan Washington is still questionable. That’s a big concern for me as San Diego State runs the ball far more than they pass it. At the end of the day it likely doesn’t matter; San Diego State hasn’t moved the ball all year and I don’t expect that to change against a solid Central Michigan defense.

The Aztecs do have the matchup advantage when Central Michigan has the ball, particularly in the category of explosive plays. Central has as very good offensive line but will face a nasty San Diego State unit that ranks in the top-two in power success rate, stuff rate, and line yards.

I have a full unit play on my original Central Michigan +7 Michigan, but if I were forced to pick the game at the current number, I’d still take Central Michigan and the points because I don’t think San Diego State will score much at all. The total is a little bit too low for me to look at an under.

Pick: Central Michigan +3.5